Yesterday, a new Toyota electric SUV was teased and an interesting announcement Toyota made during the broadcast was that it expects to unveil the first mass-produced EV with a solid state battery by 2025.
About three decades after Sony introduced Lithium-ion batteries in 1991, the Japanese aim to become pioneers in the next-gen battery technology yet again. This time, it is Toyota and Panasonic who are working on bringing the next-gen batteries to the market.
In February this year, Toyota and Panasonic announced that they have decided to establish a new joint venture company called Prime Planet Energy & Solutions that specializes in automotive prismatic Lithium-ion batteries. The scope of the JV company’s business includes the development, manufacture and sales of solid state batteries and other next-gen automotive batteries as well.
Prime Planet Energy & Solutions was established two months later in April amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Toyota owns 51% of the JV company, and the remaining ownership is with Panasonic.
Koji Toyoshima, Deputy Chief Officer of Toyota ZEV Factory (Japan), Toyota, confirmed yesterday that Toyota and Panasonic are working on solid state battery technology. These next-gen batteries “generate more power from smaller, light packs” and “recharge much faster than liquid type batteries,” Toyoshima said.
Toyota’s arch-rival Volkswagen Group is also working on solid state battery technology. The German conglomerate established a joint venture with Stanford University start-up QuantumScape Corporation to accelerate its work on solid state battery technology.
Advantages like higher energy density, lower space requirements, better rapid charging capability and greater safety make solid state batteries an attractive option compared to traditional secondary batteries used for electric propulsion.
We expect to introduce the first mass-produced electrified vehicle using a solid state battery in the first half of 2020’s.Koji Toyoshima, Deputy Chief Officer of Toyota ZEV Factory (Japan), on 7 December 2020.
The new Toyota electric SUV announced yesterday will share a new ‘e-TNGA’ platform co-developed with Subaru. This new Toyota electric SUV will be a mid-size model meant for sale in Europe. The same platform will underpin the rumored Subaru Evoltis compact electric SUV that was previewed through an unnamed concept in January. The Subaru electric SUV should be sold in the U.S. market.
Toyota says that it is possible to offer EVs based on the e-TNGA platform in front-, rear- or four-wheel drive drivetrain layout. The company has already developed the mid-size electric SUV model, and it is readying it for production. It plans to manufacture it at a dedicated EV plant in Japan.